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  • Sarah Rossmiller LPC

The Tough Decision: Cutting Off Your Parents as an Adult

For many individuals, the image of parents as unwavering sources of support and guidance may prove to be painfully illusory. Growing up, some have been subjected to parental figures who, whether due to their limitations or deliberate actions, have failed to meet their emotional and psychological needs. The result is a turbulent emotional landscape that can leave a lasting impact on one's sense of self-worth and well-being.

Once transitioned into adulthood, those individuals are often faced with the very real and daunting choice of distancing from their parents to pave a path that aligns with their personal growth and well-being.

This choice is seldom simple and carries a profound burden of emotional turmoil. In this post, we will explore the underlying reasons for making such a challenging decision and provide guidance to those who may be grappling with this complex situation.

Understanding the Decision

Before delving into the reasons behind cutting off one's parents as an adult, it's important to recognize that this is an incredibly complex and personal choice. It is typically not made on a whim but is a result of long-standing issues, emotional pain, and a deep sense of personal boundaries.

Common Reasons for Cutting Off Parents

Abuse and Toxic Relationships

Perhaps the most prevalent reason is experiencing abuse or being trapped in a toxic family dynamic. This can include physical, emotional, or psychological abuse that has continued into adulthood.

Unresolved Childhood Issues

Lingering trauma and unresolved conflicts from childhood can lead to strained relationships with parents. Sometimes, the issues are so deeply rooted that cutting ties becomes a way to heal and move forward.

Differing Values and Beliefs

As we grow, our values and beliefs may diverge from those of our parents. These differences can lead to constant conflict and may ultimately necessitate separation to maintain one's own beliefs and identity.

Narcissistic or Controlling Behavior

Parents who exhibit narcissistic or excessively controlling behavior can make it difficult for their adult children to lead independent lives. In such cases, cutting off ties can be a means of asserting autonomy.

Protecting Your Well-Being

Sometimes, the decision to cut off parents is made in order to protect one's own mental and emotional well-being. This may be due to consistent stress, anxiety, or depression caused by interactions with one's parents.

Navigating the Decision

Seek Professional Help

Consider consulting a therapist or counselor to help you work through your feelings and decide whether cutting off your parents is the best course of action. They can provide valuable insights and coping strategies.

Set Boundaries

If you're not ready to completely cut ties, establish clear boundaries with your parents. Communicate your needs and expectations, and enforce these boundaries firmly but respectfully.


Prioritize self-care, both physical and emotional. Surround yourself with a support system of friends and loved ones who understand and respect your decision.


The decision to cut off your parents as an adult is never an easy one, but it may be necessary for your own well-being and personal growth. Remember that you have the right to prioritize your mental and emotional health. Seek professional guidance and build a support system to help you through this challenging process.

For suggestions to consider before ultimately making the choice to cutoff, check out a previous post entitled "Cutting Off Contact with Parents as an Adult: Exploring Alternatives Beforehand." Ultimately, your emotional stability and well-being should be your top priority, even if it means making difficult choices about the relationships in your life.


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